Settlement Sewage Floods Beit Ommar Land, Again

25 April 2011

On the night of Sunday, April 24th, settlers from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc opened a valve at a wastewater facility, flooding nearby Palestinian fields with untreated sewage. 10 acres of Palestinian farmland belonging to the Sabarneh family were flooded, soaking hundreds of grape vines and fruit trees in human waste and effectively destroying the crops. A field awaiting cultivation was similarly poisoned. Sewage water soaked into the ground, leaving thick mud that precluded any opportunity to dredge the sludge out with tractors or other heavy machinery.

This is not the first time that settlers from Gush Etzion have released raw sewage onto Beit Ommar land. Seventy-five dunams of land near the Gush Etzion bloc have borne the brunt of the destruction, and hundreds of trees have been killed by the contaminated waters.

Should farmers cease cultivating the sewage-inundated land, it risks being labeled as unused and subsequently confiscated by the Sate of Israel.